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    Fire Hydrants Guide: Mastering the Basic Floor Exercise That Will Strengthen Your Glutes, Thighs, and Core

    From the downward-facing dog pose to playful antics, dogs can serve as a great source of inspiration for fitness routines. Even their less refined moments can offer valuable lessons, such as their unique way of relieving themselves.

    While dogs may squat to attend to business (a classic move), the quintessential gesture involves raising a leg to mark territory on a fire hydrant. This action inspired the popular “fire hydrant” leg lift exercise performed on the floor in a tabletop position, targeting the glute medius, outer thigh, and core muscles, as noted by fitness expert and founder of The Sculpt Society, Megan Roup.

    “Exercises like the fire hydrant that enhance hip mobility are excellent for warming up before a run or when looking to include more glute-focused exercises in your routine,” Roup explains.

    Though relatively straightforward, executing this dog-inspired movement effectively requires attention to specific techniques and awareness of potential pitfalls to ensure your pooch would indeed be proud of your efforts.

    How to Perform Fire Hydrants

    1. Commence in a tabletop position on your hands and knees
    2. With both knees at a 90-degree angle, lift one leg sideways, aiming to align the knee with your hip
    3. Lower the leg back down while maintaining weight on your arms and the supporting leg (avoid transferring weight to the lifted leg when returning it to the floor)

    Complete 10 to 12 repetitions before switching to the other side.

    Enhancing Fire Hydrant Performance

    Achieving maximum benefits from the fire hydrant necessitates muscle activation, especially in the core, maintaining the correct posture, and performing each movement deliberately with control. Otherwise, you may find yourself merely moving your leg aimlessly without reaping true results.

    Steer clear of leaning away from the lifted leg

    While lifting the leg, ensure your body remains stable in the hands-and-knees position without shifting weight or posture.

    “Maintaining balance during a fire hydrant often leads individuals to lean away from the lifted leg,” Roup points out. “Focus on distributing weight evenly between both hands. This may result in a reduced range of motion for the leg, but it will also amplify core engagement.”

    Maintain a neutral spine

    Once again, emphasize engaging the core. Rather than allowing your back to arch, keep the spine aligned with your head and hips.

    Include your upper body in the exercise

    While the front part of your body may not be directly involved in the leg lift of a fire hydrant, it still plays a role.

    “Keep your upper body active by pushing through the floor and engaging your shoulders,” Roup suggests.

    Try incorporating a resistance band

    To intensify the fire hydrant workout, consider using a resistance band placed above the knees. When lifting the leg, the band will create additional resistance. Ensure you maintain proper form and integrate all the mentioned tips to avoid compensating for the heightened challenge with incorrect posture.

    You are now equipped to embrace the fire hydrant exercise and witness the impactful results. Although you may not experience the same sense of relief as your furry companion, you will undoubtedly feel the satisfying burn!

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